Thursday, 22 December 2011

Stop Press !!

Rushing to get Christmas sorted ( I haven't even written all my Christmas cards yet) but had to stop to tell you all that......Kyle has been offered a place at Oxford !!

We're all so excited and proud. He keeps reminding us that he has to get 3 As but I'm confident he will do that if he works hard.

We went out to celebrate yesterday and I had far too much champagne but I don't think it was the fizz that was/is responsible for this incredible high !

Monday, 5 December 2011


It has taken me weeks to get round to my poor neglected blog and I think Twitter is to blame. I’m completely addicted and I still don’t really see the point of it. I need to take a step back and stop looking at it at every opportunity and posting inane comments. I need to find the balance ….

Meanwhile, and far more importantly, Kyle has been called for interviews at Oxford University this week. He will be there for three days, which sounds like some interview process. I’m so proud of him and incredibly excited but he seems remarkably calm. It doesn’t matter what happens now, I just think he has done amazingly well to get to this stage

Picture me now with a beaming smile …..

Friday, 11 November 2011

Twittering Away

Wait for it! You’re not going to believe this … but I am now on…. Twitter !!

It was a struggle.

Until now, I’ve left all this social networking to the younger people in my team at work who seem to be on Facebook all the time. It has just never appealed to me although I have increasingly noticed that at events, people I meet often invite me to find them on Facebook or LinkedIn! Why do that? Why not just give me a good, old-fashioned business card ?

Anyway, recently I have noticed that my colleagues have been keeping abreast of news and events by following Twitter and so when I expressed a vague interest in how it works, one of them took me aside and showed me, with great delight, just how useful it is, as a PR tool.

So, I have become a convert and now I tweet away. Initially, I just stalked a few people and companies and then I started putting out a few tweets about events we were involved with and now I regularly treat the world to my personal insights and I seem to have amassed quite a few followers.

I’m a bit disappointed that I enjoy it so much as I wanted to maintain my curmudgeonly attitude to it all. But it’s OK as I can still do that with Facebook ! Thing is, I totally get Twitter as a work aide but I don’t really understand the pleasure I get in announcing that I’m about to watch #Jamie Oliver. Who cares?

Also, I follow a few celebrities (some of whom I have actually met) but I keep falling into the trap of thinking when they tweet, somehow they are interested in my response …amongst the thousands of others they get ! And then I feel stupid that I did it, and that everyone can see what I sent, even though I’m not doing it as a pathetic fan desperate for attention but as someone who has interacted with them in the past ….even if only for a few minutes. I must stop doing that, but it’s still a learning process.

I’m afraid you probably won’t find me, if you look, as I’m there under my @realname but if you are on Twitter and notice an unfamiliar follower reading your tweets, you may find you do know her after all !

Tweet-tweet !!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Pride And Joy

Warning: severe gushing about to be unleashed. Read on with care!

I do love my children. They make me so proud.

In August, Kyle found out he got an A in all his AS-level subjects and an A* in the A-level he took a year early. We are very proud of him and for the first time, he has started to believe that actually he is capable of great things. His school have been telling him for some time that he’s a potential Oxbridge student but I don’t think it was until he got these latest results that he started to believe it. And so he agreed to apply to Oxford to study law! It’s all so exciting.

We went at the end of September to one of the open days and it’s such a beautiful place. It would be such a privilege to study there. Obviously I’d be the proudest mother in the world if he got in but I’m trying really hard not to allow my thinking to influence him. After that trip though, I can see he’s keen l Their sporting facilities are second to none and he’s even talking about taking up rowing !!

Anyway, he re-wrote his personal statement and last month, he had to take the LNAT (Law National Admission Test) which forms part of his application and he thinks it went OK…. though he has moments of anxiety that maybe he completely misunderstood the essay question. Anyway, we’re all waiting now to see if he gets selected for interview.

And it’s not just my son who is causing my pride-ometer to rise….

Sasha is now writing her second musical for the youngsters at the youth centre where she helps out. After attending a residential composers’ course in the summer, she came back full of ideas and spends all her time at the piano. I’m so impressed with her. She’s turned into such a beautiful, compassionate young woman. She is now part of the management team for the soup kitchen where she has also been helping out for about a year and she has done some serious fund-raising and found them some local sponsorship.

Her relationship with young Freddie seems to be going from strength to strength and he is so proud and supportive of her. I hope she hangs on to him – he is lovely and they are a really handsome couple. He took her to his university ball last term and the photos were amazing. I bought three !

I must keep my dreams in check though. As much as I can see myself saying things in a very posh voice, like “My son? Oh yes he’s a student. Where? Oh, at Oxford. Oxford University !! …..or, picturing myself in tears as I watch Freddie’s reaction to my beautiful Sasha coming up the aisle on her father’s arm in the most amazing wedding dress….. I must stop myself from getting too carried away or I’ll end up being disappointed and worse, I’ll subconsciously pile on the pressure for the two people I love most in the world.

I don’t need to look ahead though because whatever happens they have made me so proud already.

I’m a very lucky mum.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Decision Made

Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails.

I thought about it long and hard and I have decided not to publish here. Not yet anyway ! I’ve found a writers group that offers feedback and advice for each other at whatever point they are with their writing. I thought I would give that a go and will go along to their next meeting in a couple of weeks

Meanwhile, I’m still writing my short stories and have now amassed quite a collection. I may well just drop one into the blog every so often when I can’t think of anything else to write.

But for now, this will stay as a record of my life…..although I may, just may, have to change the title, very soon !!

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Urge To Write

In the last few months, as I’ve been travelling from one end of the country to the other, I’ve started writing. I’ve had a book in my head for some time but I’m always pushing it away as I want to write it when I have time to sit down and just do it, rather than trying to fit it in between so many other things.

One day, when I was on one of my long train journeys, I suddenly thought of JK Rowling and how she apparently formulated Harry Potter on the train to Manchester. I also happened to be on the train to Manchester !!

So, I started to put down on paper the elements of my story and the characters …..and it felt really good. The words were just flowing from my pen with hardly any effort and I got very excited at the thought of writing it. I was planning to start it on the journey back but I was so tired that I slept all the way. And since then, I haven’t been able to get back into it. It’s as if something is physically stopping me.

I’m guessing it’s fear. All the time that the book was in my head, it was a bit of a fantasy that I could dismiss fairly easily as something to be done in the future. After putting down my thoughts on paper though, it has become much more real and I could end up writing this and it could be rubbish. I don’t have a clue how to write a book. I don’t even know if I have style that would or could engage readers. So I have not gone back to it at all. I’m such a coward.

However, whenever I travel by train now, I have an irrational desire to write. I probably should just write the book and then put it away and look at it again next year, or something. But like I said, I can’t. So instead, I have found that by watching people on the train, ideas suddenly pop into my head and I have now written a number of short stories.

I don’t know if they’re any good but I have just read the first one, which I wrote a couple of months ago and I think I like it but I really want to get some honest opinions. I don’t know if I have the guts to publish it here and I may never be able to do it……..

…..but, if I were to put it on this blog, would you be willing to read it and give me your brutally frank, critical opinions ???

Monday, 5 September 2011

Did You Miss Me ???

Oh, it’s been a very long time !

Lots of reasons. Primarily work. In June, we were given a last-minute contract to work on a huge project and so everyone in the company has dropped everything to concentrate on what we need to do. My role has seen me travelling up and down the country, meeting with various people and although I do love that, it has been so incredibly tiring.

In between that I have had to fit in with my family, trying to join them for bits of holiday in Cornwall, the Peak District and Ireland. They seemed to be quite happy carrying on without me!

And then, in the odd bits of time I have had free, I’ve tried to blog but I often couldn’t access my site. When it did let me log on, I had no access to my blogroll of fellow blogger sites or to my followers. I can’t tell you how frustrating that was, especially as sometimes it would let me comment on some blogs but most of the time, it wouldn’t even let me type in the comment box.

I toyed with the idea of giving it all up, especially as the next year is going to be so busy for me but the thought of that was too distressing and so I persevered whenever I had an opportunity. And then finally this week, (and don’t laugh, you all know how technically rubbish I am!!), I noticed a warning that I swear I never saw before, that said my blog was no longer supported by Internet Explorer. OK, OK, I can hear you all laughing, but why should I know that ??!! So, I’ve switched browsers and now I have my precious blog back to how it was, with pictures of followers and My Blog List back and I can’t tell you how happy I am – it’s as exciting as when I first started. I just have to hope that you lot are all there and haven’t abandoned me. We shall see ………

Anyway, thanks for those who emailed and commented, wondering where I was. It was nice to be missed.

And for those of you who didn’t, DID YOU EVEN REALISE I WAS GONE ????

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Trying My Hand At Adult Behaviour

Since Matt, I have tried very hard not to allow my head to be turned by men and their flattery.

I realised a while back that until now, I have let that happen too easily. Someone would start to flirt and I would flirt back and before I knew it I would be in a situation that I didn’t know how to get out of. And so, on three occasions in my married life an affair has started and on numerous other occasions I have just cut off contact with various men in a bid to rid myself of difficulties. That in turn, has caused me all sorts of anxieties about what the other person must think of me, leading me to dislike myself more for getting into that position in the first place.

Oh, I’m so ridiculous.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take more control. Not so difficult now I have to admit, because I notice that as I get older, there is not so much attention. Tracy Emin said it best in a recent interview, when she said women of our age suddenly become invisible and it takes some getting used to !!

However, saying that, Norman has shown an interest !

He is one of our Directors and he has a fearsome reputation. He knows what he wants, he always gets results, he doesn’t tolerate fools and he shouts…. a lot. He has never really been involved with me and my team but whenever we have been at a meeting or in a room together, he has studiously ignored me.

In spite of that, or maybe because of it, I've always been quite fascinated by him.

He’s in his sixties and not an obviously good-looking man but he keeps himself trim and dresses well and actually there is something quite attractive about him. The fact that he’s brusque and seems to get bored easily, seems to add to the appeal.

Anyway, a few months ago, he wandered into my office and threw a folder down on the desk. “I was told you might be interested in this so you are welcome to it as it doesn’t do a thing for me. If you don’t fancy it, find someone else to do it.” And with that he stalked out again.

I looked in the folder and it was a brief to work with a very well known dance company and exactly the sort of thing I love. So, I made a few calls and it wasn’t long before I was on the case. A few weeks later, I got an email from Norman asking how it was going. I told him it was going well and thanked him belatedly for passing the job on to me. I cheekily added that he should have given it a go as it was fun and I had already got a free dance class out of it. He messaged back that dancing wasn’t his idea of a good time and when I asked him what was he told me to take a double expresso into his office and he would tell me. Given that this man had never shown any interest in me until now, I decided to do just that. And actually, that afternoon in his office was very entertaining as he told me a lot about himself and revealed that he had often wanted to talk to me as he was impressed with the way I worked and fascinated by my loud laugh.

The next day he asked me out to lunch and since then, that has been a regular thing and we have become quite good friends.

That whole gruff thing is a bit of a front and actually, I have realised that the people who work with him have a huge amount of respect for him despite the fact that he shouts a lot. He’s very intelligent and is very up on his news and current affairs. In addition, he loves reading, especially anything to do with history and goes to the theatre as often as he can. Trouble is, he has no one to share it with. His wife left him a long time ago as their marriage fell apart when their eldest child died suddenly and he took refuge in his work. From what he says, it seems he doesn’t feel worthy of a partner which is a great shame. He knows women like him but he feels that they are drawn to him because he has money and anyway, the whole business of trying to meet the right person, he says, takes too much energy.

I know he likes me. The old me would, for some reason, have made it easier for him to make a move but I have been very aware that I have kept up a guard to stop him crossing any line. He will often say that he wishes he could meet someone like me who is funny and intelligent and I immediately then talk about Ewan so that he knows I’m not available. Trouble is, I think my natural flirtatiousness sends mixed messages so he doesn’t really know where he stands. I feel quite sorry for him really but I’m trying to behave like an adult so that I don’t have to suddenly stop meeting up with him as I really would miss his company.

It’s hard but I think I’m finally learning !

Friday, 10 June 2011

Back To Therapy

I signed on to an anger management course and yesterday I went along to the first of six group sessions.

I’m not going to document every last detail but I thought some of what was said was very interesting. It’s probably what most people know but for me it was a bit of a revelation.

Namely, that:
a) anger is a natural emotion – a simple release of energy
b) it’s OK to be angry because it is part of the human condition
c) anger is a way of saying “no thank you”, “I don’t agree with that” or “stop it”
d) anger can be healing
e) we shouldn’t tell our children that they shouldn’t express their anger or that anger is bad
f) it is what we do with our anger that may not bring benefit so we should use it as a tool
g) it’s not helpful to hold in anger as that repression often leads to rage which is not a good thing.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be learning how to use anger as a tool and how to cut off the path to rage in “healthy, non-threatening and non-damaging” ways.

Watch this space ….

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Talking About Myself

A friend emailed this to a group of us and said that I was the only one likely to answer as I loved talking about myself. Bloody cheek….but there may be some truth in it ! Anyway, I’m ignoring him but I couldn’t resist filling it in and posting it here. And he’ll never know !

Feel free to pick it up and run with it if you so choose !!

Who were you named after?
No one, as far as I’m aware

Do you like your handwriting?
It depends on the pen which is why I always like to use good pens for that very reason. I can’t be doing with a scratchy biro !

If you were another person would you be friends with you?
Of course! I’m great fun and a good confidante and genuinely interested in other people. It’s a shame that I’m not another person as then I might begin to like myself !!

Do you still have your tonsils?
No! They were whipped out when I was just five! Imagine that! I don’t think they do that to children so young, these days

What is your favourite cereal?
I don’t really do breakfast unless it’s a weekend when Ewan does his famous big fry-up. If I had to choose, I would say Crunchy Nut Cornflakes

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Hell, no !

What colour knickers and shoes are you wearing?
Well funny you should say that ….. I always wear matching bra and knickers and today they are red because we went out to lunch with friends and I wore a red top and so my shoes are red too but obviously I don’t consciously set out to match my shoes to my undies!!

What was the last thing you ate?
I had pie and mash for lunch, when I should have had a simple salad but the whole e.coli thing put me off the healthy option and I went for big chunks of steak in ale instead !!

Favourite sport to watch

Tennis, although I admit it’s more fun watching any big England match with a group of people who shout as loudly as I do !! However, I have left Ewan in the pub to do that without me today (although I've got one eye on the match as I write this !)

Do you wear contacts?
No. I was told I needed glasses a couple of years ago but I have been too vain to wear them that often and I’m too squeamish to try contacts

Last movie you watched
Face/Off – which I recorded last weekend. I don’t know how I’ve missed it until now as I rather like Nicholas Cage and I have been in love with John Travolta since I was just a girl! I didn’t expect much but I thought it was brilliant and I was hooked right from the start. I love a good action film !!

What did you watch on TV last night?
I had to watch Dr Who again ready for this evening, as I didn’t really understand what was going on last weekend !!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Not The First Time

After much pressure from family and friends and the clear message from your comments and emails (for which I am very thankful), I did report the incident and the police were surprisingly sympathetic and confident that they could find the culprit

I’ve been a bit wary since the incident last Monday but not scared. When I told my colleagues the next day at work, four of the women said it had happened to them. For one it had happened twice. Nice.

Anyway, soon after writing that last post I suddenly remembered something that happened when I was very young. Not a mugging but a similar incident – one that I had pretty much forgotten

I was about 13 and I was coming home from a piano lesson just a couple of streets away. I had turned the corner on to my road and a car passed me and beeped. The driver was looking round at me but I didn’t recognise him. He stopped the car, got out and held open the back door, As I got nearer, he said “Hello love, you look nice. Get in and we’ll go for a drive.”

I said no thanks and tried to walk on but he blocked my way and said with a smile
“Come on love, just get in the car.”

I didn’t know what to do then and he moved forward but fortunately a neighbour came out of his house and shouted something. The guy ran into his car and raced off.

Mr Blackstone came running over to me to see if I was OK and like Nathan he walked home with me and rang the bell. When my dad opened the door he told me to go inside which I did and then he must have told my dad what he saw.

Dad was fussing over me then all evening and asking if I could remember what he looked like and if he touched me and I remember being very blasé about the whole thing. After all, I hadn’t felt scared at any point. I clearly didn’t realise the potential danger of it all.

I’m guessing my parents didn’t involve the police as I don’t remember ever speaking to them, or anyone else about it. However, thinking about it now it probably explains why Dad pretty much gave me a lift everywhere after that until I started driving myself. All my friends thought I was terribly spoilt but he was clearly scarred by what could have happened to his precious little girl, whereas I just put it out of my head ……until now.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Law Of Attraction

I thought this might happen one day and on Monday evening, it did.

I got mugged.

It happened on my way home from work, on my own street! I had just turned the corner and I saw this black guy a little way off walking towards me. His hoodie was up and his jeans were typically halfway down his legs with chains hanging off his pockets. I remember fleetingly wondering if I should cross the road and then got really annoyed with myself for thinking like my mother, so I stayed very firmly on my intended route.

It all happened very quickly and silently.

As he passed me, he suddenly pushed me against the wall and tried to pull my bag away. I had it over my shoulder and was holding on to it and stupidly I thought, “You’re not having this. Ewan got it for me at Christmas and I’ve only just started using it so no, piss off!” and I pulled it back. He then grabbed both my arms, pulled me forward and hit me across the face.

It’s strange as it all seemed to happen in slow motion and so I sort of saw it coming and managed to steel myself against it. I think because of that it didn’t hurt as such but the force threw me back against the wall and I saw stars…just like in the cartoons!

He probably would have got my bag then but my neighbour Nathan was just getting out of his car and he shouted out and ran over. He’s a big guy and so my attacker scarpered.

The whole thing was over in a matter of seconds and I didn’t have time to be scared really. But Nathan was such a hero. He doesn’t even live here anymore as he and Tamsin split up a while back but he comes over regularly to see the children. He walked me to my door and tried to persuade me to call the police but I knew it was pointless. I don’t even remember what this guy looked like and he didn’t get my bag in the end, so what’s the use?

My face isn’t marked or swollen and I’m not in any pain but I do admit to feeling slightly shaken. I rarely ever bruise but this has left me with a huge blue-black patch on the inside of my right arm where he grabbed me. There’s a tiny one in the same place on my left arm but it’s the right one that is really a beauty and I’m almost quite proud of it, in a ridiculous way.

I should be much more upset about the whole incident but I’m not. It’s not bravery – I just think it’s a kind of resigned acceptance that something like this was bound to happen at some time or other.

My mother had a chain snatched from her neck many years ago and since then I’ve almost been waiting for my turn. Unfortunately, it’s probably just part of life if you live in or around London.

Ewan strongly disagrees and says it actually proves the law of attraction which he is really into. That because I’ve been expecting it, it happened.

Maybe I should apply that to, oh I don’t know, a millionaire lifestyle ??!!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Duh !

As many of you will know, I’m not very technically minded and so, this is a call for some advice.

Can anyone tell me why I can no longer see the pictures of my followers on my blog? I can’t see a list of them on my dashboard either.

I’m worried that this is the beginning of the end and I’m going to log on one day and find I have no blog and it will be my fault for neglecting it so much recently!

Anyway, if you know the answer and what I need to do to get them back, please reply in words as near to one syllable as possible, because you are dealing with a complete dullard !!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Analyze This

I’ve been thinking about the whole therapy thing

I remember when I started. It really felt like the right thing to do. Something I needed in my life and at the start, the whole talking thing was something I found really valuable. Especially as it isn’t something I do easily. People think I talk a lot and don’t get me wrong, I do. In fact, I can talk and talk and talk …..but it's never about anything of worth, nothing consequential. It's all just amusing anecdotes, or where I have been or what I've been doing. All in a bid to entertain others and make them want to be around me but nothing that gives anything real away.

In the end, during those sessions, I talked around problems and OK, maybe a better therapist would have guided me more carefully into the troubled areas, but actually just talking, filled a void for that time in my life.

Now I’ve come to the conclusion that even with the best counsellor in the world, therapy really isn’t for me.

We all suffer from feelings of inadequacy no matter how shiny and bright we appear on the outside. I know that lots of friends my age are anxious and stressed about a whole load of things ranging from balancing home and work life through fretting about how they look and what shape they are, all the way to pure despair at how fast life seems to be passing them by and the mistakes that leads them to make.

All those things have bothered me at some point, and I definitely keep making stupid mistakes, but those same problems haven’t been made better by talking them through with the therapist. That may have offered temporary relief but no solution. Effectively, it was like constantly picking at a scab and so not allowing it to heal. I found I was analysing and thinking about my life in a rather pointless manner. Who am I? What do I want? I don’t bloody know - what do any of us want? To be happy I guess, it’s not rocket science. If anything is truly depressing it’s that I have probably lived over half my life now and I still don’t have any real answers to anything of worth.

If I’ve realised anything over the last few weeks, it’s that actually, do you know what, it’s OK to be angry with myself and with others. It’s OK not to feel particularly worthy or to feel vulnerable or to mess up from time to tome. But it’s not OK to dwell on any of it. I need to feel the emotion, live through it and then put it away but not allow it to dictate or colour what I do from then on.

There are other things too that I know I need to do. Such as learning to minimise the negatives in my life, because focusing on things that annoy me definitely tends to make me miserable and dissatisfied

All this seems to be what normal people do. DON’T analyse who you are and what you do or why you do it. Just forgive yourself and have the courage to like who you are.

That’s what matters at the end of the day. It’s not whether others like me, but that I do.

It may not sound much but that is a huge revelation to me and one that I may have to keep discovering before it finally makes an impact

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Waking Up To Spring

It’s a long time since I’ve written anything here.

I guess it’s because I haven’t had any real enthusiasm for anything and I’ve just been going through the motions. I haven’t been in a depressed state - I just haven’t been able to do more than I’ve needed to on any given day.

But I feel better now.

Maybe it’s because the sun is out and our garden is full of flowers but suddenly, I feel more like my old self and ready to be me again, if that makes sense. I want to put some serious work into getting over these negative feelings that constantly seem to bring me down.

That won’t be with the therapist though.

Last month, I told him that I wanted to end our sessions. He just nodded and asked me why. I said I didn’t think that actually I was getting anything out of it anymore and that I was going to focus more on anger management. He informed me that he could help with that, which was a bit awkward, but I insisted that I thought it would be best to start with someone new. I found it difficult to say, not helped by how he looked at me in that way he has, with his head on one side. He pointed out that we had rarely touched on my angry episodes and I said that was because I didn’t find them easy to talk about and that I was ashamed of my behaviour. He said that he thought after all this time I would have understood that the whole point of these sessions was to try and talk through the more unpleasant things. I agreed but said it wasn’t something I had been able to master.

He was silent for a while and then, out of the blue, he said “Do you think I like you?” I was a bit shocked and didn’t know what to say and so he repeated the question. When I said yes I thought he did, he asked why that was so important to me. I said that what people thought of me has always been important to me and the key to how I feel about myself and he mysteriously said “that’s the knub of it Selina - that’s what you need to work on”.

I should have got into the conversation but quite frankly I didn’t have the energy.

Anyway, he wouldn’t let me finish things at that session and said I should think it all over and give him my decision at our next meeting. However, I went home feeling very dissatisfied at that and a few days later I sent an email thanking him but saying that I wouldn’t be going back. He replied with just two lines “Thank you for letting me know. I wish you the very best for the future”

Now, I feel like I’m free again. I don’t know of what. To make a fresh start maybe, I’m not sure. But I do feel positive and that can only be a good thing.

Can’t it??

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Trying To Move On

Thank you so much for your supportive comments on my last post.

I was convinced that you would all be appalled and disgusted and maybe some readers were, but the messages suggested an element of understanding that touched me deeply, even though I acknowledge wholeheartedly that my behaviour was wrong.

I took the advice offered and wrote him a letter. I haven’t shown it to him but I did tell him about it and some of what it said. Maybe one day I’ll publish it here but it doesn’t really make any sense. It rambles on and on, part justifying part apologising but whatever, it DID make a difference writing it down – all four pages !

I’ve spent a lot of time talking with him since then and we’ve all been out as a family as well and it does help.

Trouble is, I can’t get over the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

I only see the therapist once every other week now and the week of the turmoil wasn’t the scheduled time. I called him to ask if he could fit me in. He said no but that he would give me extra time this week. As I put the phone down, I realised that actually there was no real point seeing him. I’d have told him what happened and he’d ask me what I thought the trigger was and we’d go round things like we have for the last few years. It’s not his fault - it’s just that I have become very practised at just talking but somehow avoiding the key issues.

We’ve only touched briefly on my hideous temper. I painted it as me being the unreasonable one who completely loses control while Ewan refuses to engage until I calm down, which makes me more angry. He asked me if I thought that actually that made Ewan the unreasonable one and to be honest, I don’t really remember the outcome. That’s the problem. I don’t remember much about the outcome of any the things we’ve discussed. I’ll tell him all this on Thursday but if nothing else I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the therapist, or at least this therapist, isn’t for me.

I wanted it to work. I tried to persuade myself that it was working, but it clearly isn’t.

Meanwhile, I’ve been going back over my blog and I saw this entry that I posted back in the beginning, two and a half years ago.

I think it’s clear evidence that I haven’t really moved on at all ……

Sasha and Kyle - The Children
I've already said I'm incredibly proud of them but I wonder.... I really wonder if I have been a good enough mother to them.

I am incredibly strict and expect them to behave in a certain way which they have done. Maybe I have inhibited them as a result. They seem fairly normal but who knows what they really go through.

Sometimes Sasha's eyes look very puffy and I don't know anything about why and I can tell she's not inclined to share the burdens in her life but we have the same sense of humour and many times when we talk we end up laughing and laughing until we cry. She is so sensible and I hope we end up as good friends as she is so wise and it will be her telling me what to do for the best very soon.

As for my son, I love him so much. He will always be my child though. I can't imagine him advising me on anything although he is incredibly intelligent and so I guess he will but I can't see a day when I won't be looking out for him.

How did I create such gorgeous children and why do I hold back from loving them completely? That is what makes me abnormal. That makes me a freak. A mother is supposed to love her children totally, beyond life itself. And yet, I don't know if I do. I can't imagine a world without them and I have such strong emotions for them but I think something isn't there.

I shout a lot at them - sometimes it's for no real reason. I think I yell because deep down, my life feels like it's in a mess and I have no control.

I hate myself I think - that's the real problem. If that's the case, how can I love anyone else...or expect them to love me

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Speeding Downhill

So my daughter seems very bright and breezy and convinced that everything will be OK. She’s been trying to joke with me that we’ll have a period party when the time comes but I’m not really amused. In fact, I’m seriously anxious. I’ve lost weight again as I just feel constantly sick.

Things haven’t been helped by the fact that my son, who up to now has been everything a mother could wish for, seems to be going off the rails.

He has been earmarked as a potential Oxbridge student and until recently he was doing really well. But all of a sudden he seems embarrassed by his success and has been going all out to impress his friends in other ways.

At the birthday/aftershow party we had a few weeks back, he brought some of his friends along. Not the usual boys he hangs out with who are very nice but some other lads who were very cocky and who thought it was funny to get drunk quite quickly, with no care that they were guests at my party and not at some pathetic teenage rave.

One of them even thought he could light up in my kitchen and I told him firmly that he had to go outside to smoke. Unfortunately, I noticed he took Kyle with him and I found out later that my precious son has been smoking for a while now.

That upset me.

My dad smoked heavily when he was younger and although he stopped eventually, I’m sure it contributed to the heart attack that killed him. I feel very ashamed that my son could be so stupid as to start such a pointless habit.

I told him the next day in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t happy and he promised me that he would stop. He said he didn’t know why he started and that he would put an end to it. Since then, I have noticed he smells of smoke when he comes in from school but he keeps saying that it’s because others smoke around him. I hate the lying and I told him I didn’t appreciate it, but he promised me that he wasn’t smoking anymore.

And then yesterday, I came back early from work as I had a headache and I thought I would stop by his school to see if he wanted a lift and there he was. Standing outside, with a group of scruffy little bastards, holding court, laughing and ….smoking.

I drove home alone and very, very angry.

When he got in, I said I could smell smoke and he just laughed and said very easily “for god’s sake mum, you always say that but I swear, I haven’t been smoking”

And then the red mist came down and I went into a rage.

I told him I saw him smoking with his nasty little friends and he said I was mistaken and I was so furious then, that I hit him. Hard. Round the head. And then I pulled his hair and yanked his head towards me and smelled his breath, and then hit him again.

I don’t know what happened after that but Ewan came down the stairs and shouted at me to calm down and I started shouting at him too. And, oh god, the whole evening descended into hours of real and bitter fury as I spewed out all the bile that seems to have been hidden so deep within me.

I hate myself so much

Today all I can think of is Kyle’s face when I went for him. Why did I do that ? I never hit them when they were growing up. I’m not part of the anti-smacking brigade but I just never thought it was the right way for me to parent as I was raised on regular, hard beatings from my mother and it never solved anything. Why did I hit him? Why did I get so angry?

I’ve realised today that however much I thought the therapist has helped me all this time, he hasn’t really. All these negative emotions are still there within me and they’ve never been resolved.

I feel so worthless, so drained. I don't want to get out of bed. If I could stay here forever I would.

I feel like I’m on the edge of something huge. That if I wanted to, I could let just go of what little control I might be holding on to and fall into a complete mental breakdown. Even as I’m writing I’m not sure that won’t happen. Maybe I should just walk into my local hospital and ask them to section me.

Before leaving for school just now Kyle came in and left a letter on my bedside table, apologising for lying and for making me so angry and pledging never to smoke again and promising to focus on his studies once more.

Trouble is, I don’t feel very forgiving even though I should be the one saying sorry. Instead I’m still angry – at Kyle, at Sasha, at Ewan, at my mother …….but most of all, at me

The therapist told me right at the start of my treatment that I had to learn to like myself. I thought I had but in truth, I don’t think I ever will

I despise me

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Highs And Lows

Isn’t it funny how you can feel so proud one moment and then desperately disappointed the next ?

My daughter is my pride and joy.

She is very like me in that she uses her charm and wit to get by rather than any great intellect. She’s very easy to get along with and is popular amongst her friends. She likes to party and she is fun to be with but unlike me, she is NOT a flirt.

I marvel at how she just converses with the opposite sex without all the flicking of hair and ridiculous pouting that I habitually resort to, even at this stage of my life. She doesn’t need the approval or admiration of men to validate her existence.

Over the years, she has mocked me when I have warned her not to let men have any power over her and to always stay in control . She calls me a man-hater and laughs when tell her I don’t want to see her hurt or heartbroken

She never really had a serious boyfriend. She was sort of seeing the vicar’s son – a painfully shy boy called Huw. He brought out the worst in me as I would often burst in on them in the sitting room and watch him spring away from her as he then went beetroot red. I couldn’t help it – it amused me greatly! Almost as much as walking round the house singing “the only one who could ever move me, was the son of a preacher man” at the top of my voice. She told me I was cruel …..but very funny, and that she knew full well I was just trying to stop her getting too involved.

Since September though, she has been seeing Freddie. He was in the year above her at school and now he’s in his second year at university in London – studying maths. They were always great friends and then it suddenly became something more.

And this time it’s different.

They have become very close, very quickly. He is lovely – everything you could wish for in a boyfriend for your precious daughter. He’s tall, good-looking, kind, clever, affectionate, supportive, caring and he’s always very polite to us. To be honest, I’m a bit in awe of him and I don’t want to ruin what could be something very special and important in her life …..but I do worry for her.

She told me once they started sleeping together, which was only three months into their relationship. I’m pleased she felt close enough to let me know but it did upset me and I was very emotional at the time. I would have hoped that she could have waited longer, though she said that they didn’t need to as they already knew each other so well as friends. She insists he didn’t push her into anything she didn’t want to do.

I know I have no right to be so disapproving, especially given my own past. And I am genuinely pleased that she feels she can talk to me about it, but deep down I don’t really want to know. I almost feel I have let her down by being so accepting about it. Perhaps I should have shouted at her for letting him have his way so quickly but then she does seem to be genuinely fond of him and so perhaps it was a natural step in their relationship.

The thing is, yesterday she came into my room and lay on my bed and said she was having a crisis. She told me that the previous night when she stayed over with him, the condom they were using split……and that she had just taken the morning after pill.

This is my daughter. The baby I held in my arms. My beautiful toddler with the mass of curls. The talented girl who brought the house down just a couple of weeks ago with her own show. Telling me, almost casually, that she had just taken the morning after pill

I tried to stay calm telling her that pill is not just another method of contraception and that she had to be careful and not take risks with her future in such a way and she just kissed me and told me to be calm and that everything would be alright.

I have gone from an amazing high to an incredible low in what seems the shortest space of time and now, I cant stop crying.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Best Ever Present

It was my birthday last week.

When I was young, I used to love it. The cards, the presents, the attention …..

Nowadays, not so much !! Birthdays represent another year gone. Another year possibly wasted. Further proof that I am no longer young. Increased pressure to admit that I am NOT actually forty. In fact, I’m nearer ! No ! Birthdays now, mean increased angst and mental torture …..

However, this year, I was positively counting the days to my special day because it was also the premiere of my daughter’s musical.

It had been on the calendar for a couple of months and so I thought it was the ideal opportunity for a party afterwards as an added incentive to get friends and family to turn up and support her. As it was, I needn’t have worried, as all three shows were a sell-out with people queuing outside for tickets and some even turned away.

And the show was amazing!

Eleven songs, all written in the last few months, one even in the fortnight running up to the show when she realised the second act just needed something. I can’t begin to tell you how much she has impressed me. The whole thing was fabulous.

During one number, I found myself crying - not just because the song was very moving but because I couldn’t stop thinking that my daughter, my little girl, had written it. Written the whole show. It was her vision on that stage. And she’s only 18!

And the kids were brilliant. They performed it so well - sang so beautifully and spoke so clearly. They did her proud.

And any thoughts I may have had that perhaps I only thought it was good because my daughter wrote it were completely blown away when the audience erupted into cheers and wild applause at the end. They were standing and clapping for the final encore and then there were sustained shouts for “author, author”.

She didn’t come forward at first and then, her beautiful blushing face peeped through the curtains to further cheers until she was pushed out on stage. At that point, I thought I would actually burst with pride.

And then, she started speaking. She thanked the cast, musicians and crew for a wonderful performance. She thanked the audience for a fantastic reception that she could never have dreamed of. She talked of how she had been sick with nerves before the show, even though she is so used to singing and performing. That this time, she felt she had put herself out there in a way she never had before. And then, in what seemed like pin-drop silence, she thanked ……me. She told the audience that I had encouraged her love of music since was a little girl, and that she loved me, and hoped that she had made me proud, because she wanted to dedicate her musical to me as my birthday present.

And suddenly, everyone was cheering and whooping again and I was part blubbing into Ewan’s shoulder and part laughing and blowing her kisses. And all the time, she looked just like an angel on that stage. MY darling, precious angel.

We partied long and hard afterwards and even though I can’t remember how it all ended, I know that it’s up there as one of the best birthdays EVER !!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Good Job, Well Done

I am basking in the glow of a fabulous wedding !

Amanda and Hugh got married yesterday and it was a fantastic day. She looked stunning in her red and white dress.

But it also felt like my day as I had helped to plan the wedding and we were part of the beautiful service - Ewan read the classic Corinthians passage and Sasha and I had the privilege of singing during the signing of the register.

At the end of the evening, when we are all a bit drunk, Amanda gave me a big hug and told me that she never would have been able to do it without me and that I was the best friend anyone could ask for and before we knew it, we were both bawling and laughing in equal measure!

Knowing she had the wedding she had always dreamed of has made me so happy. I haven’t been able to drag myself out of bed today and my body is aching from too much dancing and carrying things up and down stairs but …I feel brilliant. The only thing is, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself now.

Maybe I should start planning a wedding for my daughter………!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Failed Resolutions !

After all my resolutions to create a better blogger/life balance, I realise I have failed so far!

But I have a very good excuse!

Do you remember Mandy and Hugh ?? Well Hugh proposed to Mandy soon after I wrote about them and they set the date for the end of January 2011 but then Hugh’s dad died and we all assumed that it would probably be postponed as Hugh was naturally very upset and not in wedding planning mode. However, at the end of October he told her that he wanted to go ahead with the original date.

At the beginning of December, I called Mandy to tell her I thought her wedding invitations were beautiful and she burst out crying and said that apart from the church and reception venue, nothing was sorted and that even the invitations and the guest list had been really difficult for her. She had dreamed of her wedding day for so long and now that it was here it seemed too big for her to manage. I felt so sorry for her so I immediately volunteered to help, as planning events is what I do!!

So that is what I have been doing since. I managed to fit in our family Christmas but mostly, Mandy and myself have been working on getting everything ready and it has been really busy as there is so little time.

But I have loved it. Really loved it !

I have been in my element, and taking the stress out of it for Mandy and watching her enjoying it all, has been brilliant.

It all happens this Saturday and I can’t wait. And afterwards, I’ll be able to get back to blogging properly, I promise ........